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We will not work with Pak artistes in future: Mukesh Bhatt

Amidst calls for ban and threats of vandalism, Johar had released a video statement earlier this week declaring "for me, my country comes first. Nothing else matters but my country."
Ae Dil Hai Mushkil

In a huge relief to Pakistani actor Fawad Khan-starrer Ae Dil Hai Mushkil, the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) has said it will not oppose the release of the movie.

This comes after MNS chief Raj Thackeray along with filmmakers Karan Johar and Mukesh Bhatt met Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Saturday morning to discuss the release of Johar’s Ae Dil Hai Mushkil.

ADHM has been facing controversy since the Uri attack last month. In the wake of the terror attack, various sectors demanded a ban on Pakistani artistes from the Bollywood. The case was led by the MNS, that objected to Indian films featuring Pakistani actors and had threatened to stop the release of Ae Dil Hai Mushkil as it features Pakistani actor Fawad Khan.

According to media reports, it was decided in the meeting with Fadnavis, that the film industry would not work with any Pakistani artiste. Producer Mukesh Bhatt said, “We had a constructive meeting. Shared emotions of industry. For us India comes first. I assured Fadnavis that the Producer’s Guild had decided that we will not work with Pakistani artistes in the future.”

“Also, Karan Johar said he will run a slate before the movie starts, which honours the martyrs, it’s a tribute,” he added. He also informed that Johar and other producers would contribute towards the Army welfare fund.

In a meeting yesterday, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh had assured the makers of ADHM full support from the Centre along with assured security to exhibitors amid threats by the MNS. The Cinema Owners Exhibitors’ Association of India had announced last week that it would not release movies featuring Pakistani artistes in Maharashtra, Goa, Gujarat and Karnataka.

Amidst calls for ban and threats of vandalism, Johar had released a video statement earlier this week declaring “for me, my country comes first. Nothing else matters but my country” and pledged that he will not use Pakistani artistes in future projects.

However, he added that “I beseech you to know one thing – that over 300 Indian people in my crew have put their blood, sweat and tears in Ae Dil Hai Mushkil.” He also assured that his movie was shot much before tension between India and Pakistan had escalated, claiming that any attempts to boycott or blacklist it will affect the large team of people that worked on the movie.

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